What To Do After An Ankle Sprain
Ankle sprains typically heal within 4 to 6 weeks but only if you manage not to re-injure the ankle, which is a tricky thing to avoid. My patients come to me and understand that there is just a few things they need to do to avoid another sprain and another 6 weeks in recovery. This is why we recommend seeing a foot doctor at the American Foot and Ankle Specialists. We will make sure you heal quickly without the chance of falling into another disabling ankle sprain.
The first thing to do after a sprain is to get off your feet, rest, and ice your ankle. Any swelling or black and blue on the ankle is normal. Ice for 3 times a day for 15 minutes to reduce swelling, which will also help reduce the pain that you experience. Importantly, if you cannot walk without pain, use crutches until you can.
The next step is to see a podiatrist at our Sun City podiatry or Scottsdale podiatry offices. Here, we will provide an x-ray that will make sure you don’t have a fracture. Next, we will fit you with an ankle brace to restrict the movement of your ankle. An ankle brace is extremely important in preventing further ankle damage. It restricts the movements that the ankle takes making it virtually impossible for more cell tissue to tear.
The part that most people forget and the reason so many people have chronic ankle sprains that lasts months on end is because after the healing is finished, people forget to rehabilitate the ankle and re-strengthen the weak muscles surrounding the ankle. After a sprain, the muscles around the ankle damage as well and become extremely weak. They cannot support the body’s many movements or balance the body.
What occurs is during a little misstep or a quick sideward motion, the ankle cannot support the full wight and balance of the body and them, again rolls or twists causing another sprain. This other ankle sprain damages the ligaments and tendons of the ankle once again and the ankle needs another several weeks to heal before it is healthy again.
The key then to healing an ankle sprain is in two processes: first, healing the ankle and second, rehabilitating the ankle.
The first step is easily done through the help of a podiatrist at the American Foot and Ankle Specialists and the second step can be accomplished in the gym or with a physical therapist. The second step is often forgotten but is crucial in the full recovery of the ankle.
Call (480) 483-9000 and schedule your consultation.
By John Erotas